The health of employees can have a significant impact on an organization’s bottom line, and more companies are looking for ways to incorporate wellness at the workplace and through their employee benefit programs. In addition to reducing health care costs, a wellness program can reduce absenteeism, improve productivity, and boost employee morale at the office. Check out these three ways your company can promote and support healthy lifestyles among employees while making wellness a permanent part of your organization’s culture.
Offer incentives to get employees started
Changing one’s habits, behavior, and/or lifestyle often takes more than just simple encouragement. Offering your employees incentives can be very effective in encouraging more physical activity. For example, this California dentist who bought bikes for his whole staff and gave $1 towards the conference of their choice each time they rode to work! Of course, there are other ways to promote health and exercise - consider programs such as providing discounted or free gym memberships, a taxable cash benefit for those who walk to work, or the IRS Bicycle Commuter benefit. Capital Bikeshare memberships through the corporate program is also a great way to promote healthier transportation and commuting modes.
Participate in local wellness events, or host your own
Local events such as Walk at Lunch Day or Bike to Work Day are easy and fun opportunities to promote employee health and kickstart a regular walking or biking program throughout the office. Staff members may also be more willing to engage in wellness programs when they are able to participate in a group environment like these events, rather than starting on their own. Your organization can also host your own event, such as a healthy food seminar, health fair, or a company bike/walk to work day!
Turn the office into an active workplace
Incorporate exercise and physical activity into all aspects of your employees’ workday, from their commute, to staff meetings, to going out to lunch. Help your employees feel more comfortable biking to work by introducing bike to work day on Fridays during the spring months! You could also consider installing bike racks, lockers, and showers for those who bike or walk to work. Walking meetings with coworkers are a great way to be productive without distractions while also getting in some exercise during the day.
Does your company have a wellness program? How do you promote physical activity and exercise among employees?